Prime Minister Boris Johnson, of all people, has warned those returning to pubs tomorrow to behave “responsibly,” as hospitality venues open in England for the first time in over three months.
In a televised address later today, on the eve of the country’s latest — and most significant — stage of lockdown easing, Johnson will say that risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus remains; that the country is “not out of the woods” yet.
He will urge pub goers to follow the government’s advice and stick to the two metre social distancing (or one metre with mitigation measures) rule and to behave responsibly.
Update: Pubs in England can open tomorrow morning from 6 a.m.
While the police and other emergency services are preparing for tomorrow’s reopening of pubs in the way they would for the last Friday before Christmas — when those services come under immense strain — a report in I news yesterday revealed that only one in 10 would be visiting a pub tomorrow, while three in 10 said they would go to a restaurant.
Elsewhere, in Sheffield, a now deleted tweet from the local council warned yesterday that while it was great pubs were reopening, it was coronavirus that was happiest — “the virus loves crowded places and thrives on close contact,” it said. This morning the council tweeted that everyone should stay safe by maintaining social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
Yesterday, the treasury appeared to contradict the government’s own advice, with a giddy, also now deleted tweet of its own: “Grab a drink and raise a glass,” it said alongside a gif of cheersing glasses set against Pimms-style graphics. Big Henley Energy from the social media misfits.
One senior MP who has said he will be returning to the pub tomorrow is double-breasted anachronism Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is indeed still real. Yesterday, he cheerily announced that he had acquired a yard glass which he will be taking to his local tomorrow; a format of glass used to consume ale, which is broadly as antiquated as the member for North East Somerset’s retrograde politics.
Cheers only to that poor bartender.